Kacey Musgraves' 10 Best Songs: Critic's Picks

Courtesy of UMG
Kacey Musgraves

When Kacey Musgraves released her debut Mercury album Same Trailer Different Park, critics and fans alike fell in love with her irreverent style. There wasn’t and hasn’t been since the beginning of her career anything that has been textbook about her career rise and writing style. The Mineola,Texas native composes songs that makes one laugh at times, or possibly cry. At the very least, her songs make you think--and maybe see a situation differently than you ever have before!

Here are ten of the top Kacey Musgraves song moments during her career thus far, knowing full well that this list will likely only be current until her next album. She’s just that good. Here are ten songs that prove that!

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10. Kacey Musgraves -- "Good Ol’ Boys Club"

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There’s a great deal of mystery in this song when it comes to what she implies. While one can take the song as an indictment of society in general when it comes to the treatment of women – could it also have implications for how things are in Music City? Only Musgraves--along with writers Natalie Hemby and Luke Laird-- knows for sure!

9.  Kacey Musgraves --"Dandelion" 

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A co-write with Shane McAnally and Brandy Clark, this traditionally-minded number that compared her crying reaction to the wildflower as the same emotion that happens when she thinks about her lost love.

8.  Kacey Musgraves -- "Cup of Tea" 

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Simply put, your life and your actions are not always going to be well-received by everybody. Somebody is going to have a problem with something that you do. That’s a given. But, to quote the closing lyric of Rick Nelson’s “Garden Party,” if you can’t please everyone, you’ve got to please yourself.

7.  Kacey Musgraves -- "Biscuits"

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In a sense, the lead single from Musgraves’ sophomore album Pageant Material was very similar to the song that ranks at No. 3 on this list. But, that doesn’t mean that this Kacey Musgraves song loses any of its sparkle with its lyrics about charting your own course in life--a subject the singer knows very well.

6. Kacey Musgraves -- "This Town" 

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Another track from Pageant Material, this song shines a bright light on a small community where things aren’t nearly as quiet and innocent as one might think. Everybody knows what everybody is doing, and a few people even tell.

5. Kacey Musgraves -- "Somebody To Love"

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If there is one common emotional bond that unites us all, it’s that we all want that special connection with someone. At the end of the day, no matter our personalities, our flaws, and our differences, that is something that can be said of everyone. Musgraves echoes those simple sentiments in this lyrically potent track from Pageant Material.

4.  Kacey Musgraves -- "My House"

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 Love, as it is, is exactly where you find it. And, that emotion can take place at the biggest mansion in the county--or at your local KOA Campground. In this track from Same Trailer, Different Park, this Kacey Musgraves song stressed that it was the simple things that matter most – and as long as you have that person beside you – and a good septic connection – life is pretty good.

3.  Kacey Musgraves -- "Follow Your Arrow" 

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Teaming up again with McAnally and Clark, the songstress made quite a bit of impact with this song about being true to one’s self, no matter your leanings in life. Incidentally, one of the biggest controversies about this song was the line “roll up a joint,” which was censored by the producers of the CMA Awards in 2013. Saying it was just too much, the same night that Kenny Rogers won the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award on the ABC telecast.

2.  Kacey Musgraves -- "Merry Go Round"

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In a lot of ways, Musgraves’ 2012 debut single was straight out of the Loretta Lynn lyrical playbook. While that might seem like a bit of a stretch, this realistic look at life in the American heartland might be exactly what the "Coal Miners’ Daughter" would have come out with had she made her chart debut at the same time as Musgraves rather than 1960. It was a debut single performance that showed that the Texas native was just a little bit different than anyone else at the time – in all of the good ways.

1.  Kacey Musgraves -- "It Is What It Is"

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If you are a fan of the classic Conway, Loretta, Porter, and Dolly duets of the 1970s, your imagination probably ran a little wild with the lyrics of this Kacey Musgraves song from Same Trailer Different Park. This gritty take on a one-night stand would have made an incredible duet if those type of collaborations were in vogue today. However, Musgraves shined just as brightly in the solo spotlight with her performance on the track, a co-write with Clark and Luke Laird.